produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #3  click here for a printable version of this episode
March 1935

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JUST MOMENTS LATER ON THE DOCKS

The DocksGrace DavisGrace's screams echoed out into the night and across the water as she felt the hands on her shoulders.

"Woah!  Calm down!"  The slightly familiar voice came from behind her.  Grace breathed deeply and swallowed hard.  She turned slowly and heaved a huge sigh of relief when she realized that it was Trevor behind her.  "Sorry, Grace, I didn't mean to scare you."

"At least it's you, Trevor."  She ran her hands through her hair as she tried to shake off the last remnants of fear.  After a moment, she began to get angry.  "What do you think you're doing coming up behind me like that?  You scared me half to death!"

"I just saw you out walking alone and I was concerned."  Trevor stepped back away from her to give her a little space.  "Don't you know that these docks aren't exactly the safest places in the world at night?  You really shouldn't be out here by yourself!"

"I really think that I can take care of myself."  She said flatly as she looked at him with a stern gaze.

"You really think so?  What would you have done if I had been some thug out to get you?"  He paused for a moment to give her a chance to respond.  He got nothing but silence.  "Just what I thought.  Grace, you don't need to be out here by yourself."

"Would you just leave me alone?"  Her patience began to draw thin.  "I have a lot on my mind right now and I really don't feel like talking right now."  He smiled broadly as he saw a different side of Grace.

Trevor Callison"Well, I see 'Miss Bashful' has quite a backbone.  Why does that not come as a surprise to me?"

"I can be a little stubborn."  She allowed herself a slight grin as she lowered her head.  "Douglas says that I was always like that.  He told me that when I was a baby, I refused to believe the stove was hot until I touched it and got burnt.  Then I had to do it again a few days later, just to make sure."  Trevor laughed at her story and reached out to take her hand.

"At least let me take you home.  I know you say you can take care of yourself, but it would make me feel better to know you weren't out her by yourself.  I bet it would make your brother feel better, too."  She paused for a moment and rolled her eyes.

"Alright, Trevor, take me home."

"At your service."  He smiled at her and followed her back to the steps that led up to the street.


A LITTLE LATER AT JILLIAN'S APARTMENT

Sunset Hotel, Suite #2, Albanyville, ILJillian StokesJillian's concentration was broken by a knock at the door.  She put down the book she'd been reading and went to see who could possibly be interrupting her evening.  She wasn't happy to find Dane standing on the other side.  "Dane, what do you want?"  She looked coldly at him as she held tightly to both the door and the door frame.  "You have no business coming here!"

"Jillian, don't you know by now that you're the only thing I want?"  He cooed softly at her and attempted to push his way in.  She stood firm and would not let him pass.

"And what about Sara?  What does she mean to you?"  Jillian paused for a moment to collect her thoughts.  "Have you lead her to believe that she's the one and only for you, too?"

"Sara Summers is merely someone who's keeping your place warm until you come to your senses."  With one swift move, he caught Jillian uncharacteristically off guard and swept her into his arms.  "You're the one I truly want, not Sara."  Jillian began to beat on Dane's chest as she struggled to pull out of his clutches.

"What you need to do is forget about me and leave me alone!"  She kicked him solidly in the shin and quickly moved away.  "You need to focus on Sara.  She is the girl you cheated on me with!  She's the one you chose, go to her!"

Dane Manchester"That wasn't a choice I made on my own.  You're the one who forced my hand!  You had to go and feign hurt pride and run back to New York.  Now, let me tell you, if you think I'm just going to sit around and pine away for anyone, you are sadly mistaken!  Surely you can't expect a man like myself to not have a beautiful girl at his side."

"It wasn't hurt pride that sent me running away from you," she spat.  "That, Dane, was total disgust!"

"Okay, I admit that I was wrong."  Dane softened his tone.  "I was wrong to ruin what we had by running around with Sara.  We were so good together.  I have regretted messing it all up ever since.  That was the worst mistake of my life.  Can't you let me make amends?  Let me make it all up to you.  I know you still have feelings for me."  Jillian looked at him as she began to analyze his every word.  He sounded sincere, but this was Dane.  She knew he had no trouble at all lying with a straight face.  Could she allow herself to believe him?


MEANWHILE, AT THE LAKE APARTMENT

Stephanie Lake800 W. Rose St. Apt #3, Albanyville, IL"I'm coming!"  Stephanie called out as she raced across the living room to answer the door.  "Yes?"

"Stephanie Lake?" the deliveryman asked as he looked up from the card in his hand.  "These are for you."  He handed her a large bouquet of lilies.  Stephanie cradled them in her arms and slowly shut the door.

"Stephanie, dear, who was that at the door?"  Annabelle breezed into the room amidst a cloud of cigarette smoke.  Her eyes grew wide when she saw the flowers.  "Oh, my!  Stephanie, who are those for?"

"They're for me, Mother!  Who else could they be for?"  Annabelle tried to hide her disappointment.  For a brief moment, she'd thought that maybe Charles had come to his senses.  Stephanie quickly began to fumble with the card and carefully read the writing.  "'Thinking of you'"

Annabelle Lake"Stephanie, honey, who are they from?  Who does the card say they're from?"  Annabelle nearly burst with excitement.  She'd mentioned to Reginald a few weeks ago about Stephanie and she'd subtly suggested that they go out.  She remembered that he didn't act very comfortable at the mention of her daughter's name, but Annabelle knew how those society men were.  First you have the socially prominent wife or girlfriend and then you have the real love on the side.  She'd learned that over the years from her own many experiences with men.

"There's no name, just the message 'thinking of you'."

"There from Reginald, I'm sure of it!"  Annabelle grabbed her daughter and spun her around the room.

"Momma, how can you be so sure?"  Stephanie looked at her cautiously.  "We haven't even started working on getting him away from Jillian, yet!"

"Well....I sort of took the liberty a few weeks ago to talk to him about you.  He acted rather nonchalant about it, at the time, but I just know that he was hiding his real interest in you.  You know how men can be!"  Stephanie looked again at the card.  

Did Reginald send these? she thought.  That just doesn't sound right.  But...maybe?  Oh, I hope Mother's right!  Maybe he has realized that he made the wrong choice!  Their conversation was disrupted when Sara burst through the door.

Sara Summers"Sara, honey, what's wrong?  You seem upset?"  Annabelle rushed to her niece's side and took her in her arms.

"I-It's nothing.  Really."  Sara tried to hold back a tear.  She couldn't bare to tell them that her faith in Dane's love was starting to waver.

"It's Dane, isn't it, Sara."  Annabelle knew instinctively that all of a woman's problems could be traced to a man.  "I can't believe that you let him take control of you like he does!  What you need to do is put your foot down and get him to marry you!"

"M-marry me?"  Sara looked up at her through half-bleary eyes.  She knew Dane would never marry her.  She doubted that he would marry anyone!

"Yes, dear."  Annabelle sat Sara down on the sofa and motioned for Stephanie to join them.  "How many times must I tell you girls that to truly hold on to a man, you've got to get the ring and you've got to get the wedding.  Until you have that, then any girl with a half ounce of gumption can just come right along and steal him away from you.  Women are a competitive lot and men aren't exactly the brightest when it comes to women.  Sometimes we've just gotta think for them.  They never know what they really want."  Stephanie considered what her mother was saying and thought about Reginald.  Sara wondered if Annabelle was right.  If she could get Dane to marry her, would that solve all of their problems?  Maybe...